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DFB-Pokal final to be played behind closed doors

DFB-Pokal (German Cup)

The DFB-Pokal final between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern will take place on 4th July behind closed doors – much to the regret of everyone involved. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic meant that there was no other option.

The DFB, on behalf of both finalists, had recently asked the Berlin state government if both clubs could be allowed 5,000 fans each at the final. The request was denied due to the statuary law in Berlin. No large-scale events with more than 1,000 people are permitted in the capital up until 30th August 2020.

A new hygiene concept for the final itself had been drafted up by the DFB, which looked to see how many fans could be allowed into the stadium while keeping to the 1,000 crowd limit, and also considering that 495 people (functionaries from the organisers and clubs) would be there. The concept was nevertheless discarded after it became clear that so few fans would be allowed in due to the number of stewards and staff that would also be required to be in the ground.

The game will still be played on 4th July so that the season can be finished as close to 30th June as possible and the teams can finish their season fairly. On top of that, a later DFB-Pokal final could have an impact on planning for the coming season. Regardless of FIFA and UEFA’s decisions, there will still be a full league season, another DFB-Pokal campaign, European competitions and internationals to come – which all need to be played before EURO 2021 next summer. Also, nobody knows yet when fans will be allowed in stadiums again.

(Deutscher Fußball-Bund)